In just a few short weeks, COVID-19 displaced millions of employees and completely transformed the global business world into a remote workforce. For several years now companies have been touting the benefits that technologies offer in enabling a mobile and remote workforce – now the time has come to leverage these technologies so businesses of all sizes can allow their teams to persevere in one of the world’s largest pandemics ever.
Microsoft Office 365 and its collaboration platform hub, Teams, are key cloud-based technologies being utilized by millions of remote employees. These technologies help ensure businesses that their employees have the tools and resources they need to be as productive and data secure as possible throughout the day. This also means they can work from any device, as well as any location. And because these technologies are cloud-based, employers know there is enhanced security access to the network while offering productivity-enabling applications whenever and wherever their employees need.
Just how in-demand has Microsoft Teams become? There were roughly 20 million users globally this past November. That number has jumped to 44 million daily users since the COVID-19 outbreak. In the big picture, Microsoft Teams quickly and easily allows organizations to connect, engage and collaborate with employees, customers, vendors and prospects through any number of functions that include voice or video calls, chat messaging, and secure document sharing.
Here are several areas where Microsoft Teams can greatly benefit your organization:
The importance of face-to-face connection: One of the most immediate impacts organizations must endure is the loss of face-to-face collaboration. Microsoft Teams’ video feature enables organizations to maintain this level of visual collaboration without skipping a beat. Merit Mile project managers leverage this feature especially when producing important programs and client projects, such as client videos that require a lot of collaboration and edits.
Engagement in the text generation: Employees today, regardless of age, are now accustomed to texting and text communication. Microsoft Teams allows remote workforces to quickly share ideas and updates via chat messaging. This way of communicating serves a great purpose, especially when teams must collaborate while on other calls or web presentations.
Secure document sharing: With Microsoft Teams, employees can share documents via coauthoring, which eliminates the frustration of sharing files via email. Here, employees can revert to previous versions and have collaborative conversations about document changes in a productive manner.
Formation of special groups: Sometimes smaller departments or task forces are created within organizations to work on specific projects. Microsoft Teams allows these close-knit groups to create their own “subgroups” where they can collaborate, engage, communicate and share documents with each other. At Merit Mile, specific marketing, PR and project groups leverage this feature functionality to remain focused on certain tasks, clients and projects in order to meet deadlines.
Centralized communication with ability to record meetings: A by-product of Microsoft Teams is its ability to help employees centralize and streamline the communication process. Voice, video, chat, and document sharing happens all in one place, reducing or even eliminating the need to have communications and files over phone, text and email. What’s more, critically important calls and meetings can be recorded and saved for future recollection.
There are a few additional features planned by Microsoft soon that will help remote workforces from home especially. The company plans to roll out a new noise suppression feature that will drown out background noise from people dealing with potential distractions from home. The company will actually leverage AI as a way to eliminate background noise. A new “raise hand” feature will also be coming soon, allowing meeting participants to click a button so they can ask a question during the meeting. And, maybe most importantly, Microsoft is planning a new offline mode that will enable team members to read and respond to chat messages even when there is no internet connection – critically important now that we’re all leveraging home networks as opposed to Enterprise-level networks in the office.
With the tools and technologies available from Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, organizations of all sizes can ensure their remote workforces are as productive and engaged as possible.
To learn more about leveraging these remote workforce tools to build, deploy and measure marketing and PR campaigns, consult with an expert from Merit Mile.